Alberta Human Rights Information Service April 19, 2012

Remembering the victims of the Holocaust on April 19, 2012

Holocaust Memorial Day, or Yom ha-Shoah, falls on April 19 this year in accordance with the Jewish lunar calendar. This significant day is recognized world-wide in remembrance of approximately six million Jews who died during the Holocaust, as well as the many other victims of the horrific events of this tragedy.

In Alberta, communities and families observe this day by remembering and honouring the victims of the Holocaust. Survivors tell their stories, meaningful songs and readings are recited and candles are lit in remembrance. The focus is on educating younger generations in an effort to ensure such an event never occurs again.

Yom ha-Shoah was officially proclaimed Holocaust Memorial Day by the Alberta Legislature on November 16, 2000, with the passing of the Holocaust Memorial Day and Genocide Remembrance Act. The legislation calls on Albertans from all backgrounds to "look within themselves, reflect on the enduring lessons of the Holocaust and educate their children, their colleagues and their fellow citizens on the perils of hatred." We are encouraged to reaffirm our commitment to promote and protect the human rights of all Albertans and to support and value the rich diversity of the province.

Teachers may be interested in the publication Guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust.

The Commission offers a flyer and poster called Celebrate All Year Round to remind Albertans of significant international, national and provincial days related to human rights and diversity, including Holocaust Memorial Day. To order the flyer or poster, contact educationcommunityservices@gov.ab.ca or call 403-297-8407. You can also view the list of significant days on the Help Make a Difference website.

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